Were these 66 minutes the best episode so far in a stunning season, or is that just the wine and the HSQ talking? "The Life And Death of Jeremy Bentham" tells us what happened to Locke once he left the island, who he saw, what he said and did, and how he died, and how he so doesn't stay that way. Oh and? It may take you all night to get your jaw back into the upright position. So buckle up and prepare for take-off…
Craphole Island; Night: Saïd Taghmaoui's Caesar (Not!Sayid), who was sitting across from Hurley on Ajira flight 316 last week, is the first person we see. And no offense, Show, but who cares? Caesar's poking around a Dharma station -- it's too dark to tell which one. He finds a some maps, a chart that looks suspiciously like output from Mrs. Hawking's Foucault's Pendulum, and a shotgun which he quickly hides in his pack, then lies to Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) that it's just a flashlight. Something tells me Caesar's going to be right at home, here. Ilana tells him they've found a man who wasn't on the plane. Sitting by a campfire on the beach, cloaked in a Dharma Initiative blanket, and looking enough like a Jedi that I laughed aloud, this mystery man reveals himself to be none other than John Locke. ALIVE!
The next morning he's standing in the surf looking out to sea when Ilana brings him the best mango he's ever had. Locke wants to know about the two pontoon boats resting on the sand. Ilana says there were three, but the pilot and a woman (Sun?) took off on one, as soon as they landed. She asks Locke why he's dressed so nicely, and he supposes the suit was going to serve as his burial garb, and that he remembers dying!
Tunisia: Locke lands in the sand after his wild ride on the frozen donkey wheel. He promptly pukes and puts me off milk for the next month. Thanks for the osteoporosis, Show. There's a surveillance camera trained on him, and he's still in pain from his EXTREMELY BROKEN leg, so he hollers for help, hoping that someone is monitoring the camera. I assume he's at one of the Hot Pockets Mrs. Hawking mentioned last week. That night, a group of men, speaking Arabic, arrive in a pick-up truck, nearly run him over, pick him up, plop him down with a thud into the truck's bed, and speed off into the night. They take him to a clinic, where a doctor has him bite down on a piece of wood while he resets the leg. Matthew Abaddon looks on from behind a curtain. Locke passes out from the pain. When he wakes, Charles Widmore reminds him of how they met when Widmore was just 17. He's amazed when Locke reveals that was only four days ago, for him. Widmore's going to help Locke with his mission of returning everyone to the island. He gives Locke some back-story, claiming he was exiled from the island by Ben years ago, and that he was supposed to be the leader. Once he hears Locke's tale, he gives him money, a special cell phone (on which Locke can reach him by dialing "23"), the name "Jeremy Bentham" and a passport, the "You are special" line, and best of all, he gives him Abaddon. There's a war coming, and if Locke isn't there, the "wrong side" will win.
Locke and Abaddon fly to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where Sayid is working with a Habitat For Humanity-type relief organization. Sayid calls Locke out on having nobody and no life. He then tells him a little about Nadia, about Ben manipulating him into his "protection" racket, invites Locke to come work with him to do some real good and, of course, refuses to go back to Craphole. Locke says he'll be at the Westerfield Hotel in L.A., if Sayid changes his mind.
Next, Locke flies to New York City. He locates Walt, but does not ask him to return to the island -- he just checks up on him and chats with him long enough to learn that Walt hasn't heard from Michael in three years, but he's been having dreams about Locke, in which Locke is surrounded by people who want him dead. Little do they know – Ben is watching from across the street. While in NYC, Locke also asks Abaddon to locate Helen Norwood (Peg Bundy) for him.
Next, Locke goes to see Hurley in Santa Rosa and has to convince him that he's not another apparition or hallucination (a la Charlie), but as soon as Locke starts to talk about returning to the island, Hurley spies Abaddon, freaks and won't talk to Locke anymore. In L.A., Locke meets up with Kate, who also refuses to go back to the island and, taking a page from Sayid's book, disses Locke for not loving anyone. Locke tells her about Helen and that they broke up because Locke was angry and obsessed. Kate snarks: "Look how far you've come," and Locke leaves, defeated. He demands Abaddon find Helen, so Abaddon does -- or her headstone at least, in a Santa Monica cemetery. She died on April 8, 2006. Abaddon says a brain aneurysm took her. As they leave the cemetery, Abaddon is shot. A lot. And dead. A lot. Poor Locke hops over the seat (he's still in his walking cast) slide into the drivers' seat and takes off. He gets in an accident while fleeing from the gunman and wakes in Jack's hospital. Jack doesn't dance around the fact that he thinks Locke is delusional, and drills home the fact that Locke isn't special -- none of them are. Before Jack leaves, Locke does some quick thinking and reveals to Jack his father said hello. Jack is rocked by Locke's process-of-elimination-fueled revelation. Me, too. Dude. Locke figured something out -- correctly!
Next we see Locke ready to hang himself. Who bursts in and talks him out of suicide, out of trusting Widmore, and admits to killing Abaddon? BEN! Locke tells him about his failures. Ben informs him Jack's booked flights to and from Sydney, so Locke must have gotten to him somehow, and once they convince Jack, they'll have the rest. Locke then discloses what he promised Jin, that he has the wedding ring, and that Mrs. Hawking will help them get back to Craphole, and WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA! Ben strangles him, then stages a suicide-by-hanging, wipes the place clean, swipes Jin's wedding ring, and with tearful, psycho eyes that are nearly as crazy as Desmond's were last week, tells Locke's corpse that he'll miss him. Evil!
We cut back to Craphole Island. It's nighttime, and Locke finds Caesar in the Station. Caesar tells Locke about the noise and light on the Ajira 316 flight, and that some of passengers -- like the curly-haired big guy sitting across from him -- disappeared before the crash, so Locke has some idea of what's gone on. He then asks for the passenger manifest, but Caesar says the pilot took it before he took off in the boat. Caesar takes Locke to see the injured people to see if his friends are among them. But they're not. Not even the guy in the last bed. That's just BEN!
I swear those 66 minutes only lasted six. Want more. Now.
Fans of faith have their engines revving and ready to go, so here's a heads up for you fans of science: if last week was John 3:16, then this week is John 15:13 (NIV): "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." And perhaps too, there's a dash of John 12:25 (NKJV), too: "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." So shine your shoes, don't rumple your jacket, and get that gum out of your mouth, because we're going to Sunday School, my dears. If you're good, we can get doughnuts after.
Previously on Lost: Richard tells Locke that the only way to save the island is to get his people back there. Locke freaks because he thinks the chopper exploded when the freighter did. Richard assures him the Escape-aways are fine and already home. It's up to Locke to convince them to return -- and to do that, he's going to have to die. Because the Orchid hasn't been built by the time he arrives at it (yeah, I meant to type that), Locke climbs down Charlotte's well (not a euphemism) in search of a way off the island. There's a flash while he's making his descent; he loses his grip on the rope, plummets to the bottom of the (dry) well, and screams in pain, because his frakking shin bone is sticking out of his leg. He's greeted by Christian Shephard (whose last name I have been misspelling for weeks and oh my word I'm so sorry, gentle readers), who's carrying a lantern and tells him that he's got to get all his friends together, and it must be all of them, "everyone who left," then Eloise Hawking will tell him exactly how to get back to the island. Locke says, "Richard said I was going to die." Christian says, "That's why they call it sacrifice." Cut to Ben and a be-bearded, drugged-out Jack, gazing into the coffin of a man we only knew as "Jeremy Bentham." The camera pans up over the lid to reveal Locke! (And yeah, I know that's old news now, but it still gets the bang at the end because I say so.) Now it's time for the currently-on-Lost stuff.